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Basic Yoga poses

yoga poses
File photo credit: SportSG

The beginner’s guide to yoga poses. Get started with these basic yoga poses before moving on to your first studio class. All poses require quiet concentration and yogis should stay in each pose for at least 20 seconds before releasing. 

Child Pose:
Sit comfortably on your heels, and roll your body forward, bringing your chest to your knees and forehead to the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you to hold the pose and breathe.

Bridge Pose:
Lie on the floor, placing your arms by your side with your palms facing down. Knees should be directly above your feet, forming a straight line. Slowly lift your hips followed by your torso, bringing your chin to your chest until thighs are parallel to the floor. 

Corpse Pose:
Corpse pose requires stillness of the mind and body. Lie down with your heels touching, arms by your side with palms facing up. Loosen all muscles while keeping your eyes open.

Downward Dog Pose:
Start with your hands and feet on the floor. Tuck your toes in and lift your knees away from the floor, making an inverted V with your body. Try to stretch your heels down to the floor but not shifting the weight away from your hands. 

triangle pose yoga
Triangle pose. (File photo credit: SportSG)

Triangle Pose:
Stand with your legs hip width apart, arms extended in opposite directions beside you. Turn your right foot out in a 90-degree angle. Without bending your knees or arms, reach your right arm down to your right foot and extend your left arm to the ceiling. Turn your head to look towards your left shoulder. Repeat on other side. 

Dance Pose:
Stand tall and shift your weight slightly onto your left foot. Use your right hand to grab the inside of your right ankle then raise your left arm, palm facing front with your arm stretched to the ceiling. Bend forward and stretch your left arm to the front of the room while lifting your right foot. Repeat on the other side.

warrior pose yoga
Warrior Pose. (file photo credit: SportSG)

Warrior Pose:
Stand with your feet more than your hip’s width apart in a wide stance. Turn your right foot out in a 90-degree angle with your left foot in slightly. Extend your arms outstretched in opposite directions and palms facing downwards. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle, making sure your knee does not go over your ankle. Repeat on the other side.

Tree Pose:
Stand upright, weight shifted slightly on your left foot. Lift your right leg up, assisting with your hand if you need to, and place your right foot on your inner thigh, toes pointing towards the floor. Place your hands together and meditate. Repeat on the other side.

Cobra Pose:
Lie face down on the floor with palms beside your chest. Place your legs together tightly, and squeeze your glutes as you lift your torso from the floor. Push the floor with your fingers, making sure your shoulders are relaxed and away from your ears. 

Cat Pose:
Start with your hands and feet on the floor. Make sure your knees and hips are in one line and your shoulders, chest and hands in one line.  Your head should be looking at the floor with muscles relaxed. Exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling, forehead naturally tilted to the floor. This pose is frequently paired with the Cow Pose. 

Cow Pose:
Start with your hands and feet on the floor. Make sure your knees and hips are in one line, shoulders, chest and hands in one line.  Your head should be looking at the floor, muscles relaxed. Inhale and lift your head to look forward, spine arching and shoulders slightly pulled back. Frequently paired with the Cat Pose.


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